The Nationals have renewed calls for Labor to honour its three year old promise to upgrade the Princes Highway and Bank Street intersection.
This comes after Labor’s Minister for Roads spruiked completed road safety projects from its reduce road trauma fund in State Parliament in June.
A $2.9 million upgrade to the Bank Street Princes Highway intersection announced by the Andrews Government in May 2018 was to be completed by the middle of 2019.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said The Andrews Government had failed to even put a shovel in the ground at the intersection that should have been completed 12 months ago.
“The Andrews Government is fresh out excuses for not delivering this important road safety project,” said Ms Bath.
“Bank Street and the Princes Highway must be a top priority project, frustratingly the Andrews Government’s actions do not match its road safety rhetoric.”
In March Ms Bath stressed the dire need for the intersection upgrade in State Parliament, but the Andrews Government admitted, ‘not enough money was budgeted to complete the planned works’.
It also stated ‘a funding increase is required for the completion of these works’ and (the government) ‘is working with Regional Roads Victoria to source the additional funds required to complete the project.’
During the June parliamentary sitting week, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath again called on the Minister for Roads to stump up the remaining funds needed to complete the notorious intersection.
Ms Bath said there is money available through the Towards Zero fund, the Andrews Government could grant the additional money today if it had the will.
“It beggars’ belief why the Andrews Government continues to ignore the Traralgon community’s wishes and the area’s serious road safety issues,” said Ms Bath.
“No matter what road safety upgrades are undertaken along the Princes Highway in Traralgon, they still do not address the critical safety issues at the Bank Street site.
“With multiple vehicle accidents, countless near misses and tragically a number of fatalities, the safety of commuters using this road must be made a priority.”
A new community petition calling for the intersection upgrade commenced last week and had already attracted nearly 400 signatures in under a week.
Ms Bath said she was regularly contacted by constituents expressing their serious concern over safety at the intersection.
“Residents are angered and frustrated by Labor’s inaction and failure to deliver, and they are deeply concerned about further accidents.
“The Bank Street and Princes Highway intersection has an appalling safety record and is described as highly confusing and downright frightening by residents.
“Th Andrews Government must be held to account to ensure the Bank Street/Princes Highway intersection is made safe,” Ms Bath said.